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Listening for the Crack of Dawn: A Master Storyteller Recalls the Appalachia of His Youth
     

Listening for the Crack of Dawn: A Master Storyteller Recalls the Appalachia of His Youth

by Donald Davis
 
The hills and hamlets of western North Carolina in the 1950's provide the setting for this nostalgic tour de force by Donald Davis, who has appeared in live performance at the World's Fair, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Storytelling Festival, and on National Public Radio. He relates his youth in a cycle of growing-up stories, beginning before he enters

Overview

The hills and hamlets of western North Carolina in the 1950's provide the setting for this nostalgic tour de force by Donald Davis, who has appeared in live performance at the World's Fair, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Storytelling Festival, and on National Public Radio. He relates his youth in a cycle of growing-up stories, beginning before he enters school and culminating with the loss of friends to the Vietnam War. The characters are memorable: Miss Daisy—one of the six Boring sisters, teachers every one; Daff-Knee Garlic, owner of the Sulpher Springs Big-Screen Drive-In Theater; and Aunt Laura, who knows to listen for the crack of dawn. Developed in oral performance, Davis's stories resonate in the experiences of his listeners and readers. These stories will teach readers the importance of caring, fairness and respect.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In the best oral tradition, retired minister Davis relates his youth in rural Appalachia in North Carolina in the 1950s. The author admits his reluctance to commit his stories to paper. He need not have worried. The result is a delightful memoir--warm and bittersweet--of his family, friends, and life experiences. At times humorous and at other times heartrending, the separate stories mesh together. The tales take Davis from grade school to high school, where he introduces readers to pals and principals, class toughs and teachers, family and friends. The author's frankness is refreshing, as is his ability to evoke in the reader similar experiences of a gentler age. Highly recommended for most libraries and essential for regional collections.-- Boyd Childress, Auburn Univ. Lib., Ala.
School Library Journal
YA-- A charming, humorous chronicle of Davis's coming of age in the 1950s and '60s. Time and place are vividly portrayed through such characters as Carrie Boyd, who in a shrill 6-six-year-old voice announced on the first day of school, ``Look--that little boy wet his pants,'' thus beginning a long lasting love/hate relationship; Miss Daisy, a master teacher who taught every subject through imaginary travels; Dr. York and his miracle cure-all--a dose of molasses; and Daff-knee Garlic, the owner and operator of the ``educational institution for teenagers in all of Nantahala County,'' the drive-in theatre. YAs who like nostalgia such as Ferrol Sams's Run with the Horseman (Peachtree, 1982), or to hear stories of people and places past from older relatives will enjoy this book. They will also see that certain elements of growing up are universal--only the time, place, and people's names change.-- Carol Clark, Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780874836059
Publisher:
August House Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
12/28/2005
Series:
American Storytelling Series
Edition description:
10TH ANNIVERSARY
Pages:
220
Sales rank:
571,237
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)
Lexile:
1060L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Donald Davis Bio:Donald Davis was raised in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. He didn't realize it at the time, but he grew up in a family of gifted storytellers who passed their talent along to Donald. His legendary Uncle Frank was a front-porch storyteller of the first order and the source of many of Donald’s tales. Young Davis was a capable student. He went to college and then to divinity school. For twenty years he served the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. Then came a day when he found that he would rather tell Uncle Frank's tall tales than give another sermon. He would rather recall two old-maid sisters who abused the party line than marry one more couple.
Fortunately, Davis had no trouble finding audiences: all of his former congregations lined up to book him to perform as a storyteller. He now tours the USA ten months a year, making about 300 storytelling presentations annually. He can be found in schools, at libraries, in front of conventions, and as a headliner at storytelling festivals. Davis has appeared on ABC News Nightline, and he has been a guest on National Public Radio and CNN.
His books and spoken word recordings have received critical acclaim and won many awards. Davis has written ten books and recorded twenty audio recordings with August House. When Donald isn’t crisscrossing the country performing his stories, he comes home to Ocracoke Island, North Carolina where he lives with his wife, Merle.

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